News & Reviews News Five train layouts you can visit this summer

Five train layouts you can visit this summer

By Bryson Sleppy | July 1, 2024

| Last updated on July 11, 2024

These five model railroads should be on every family’s bucket list

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Planning your travel for this summer? Be sure to include some model trains in those plans! These five train layouts throughout the country (and world) are all worth a visit this summer.

Colorado Model Railroad Museum

Large model train layout with full-scale red caboose in the background
The scale of the Colorado Model Railroad Museum is shown in this photo that doesn’t even capture the whole room. The full size Colorado & Southern caboose is in the background. Bryson Sleppy photo

Featuring more than 500 HO scale locomotives, 80 scale miles of track, and tens of thousands of handmade trees, this massive layout is located just north of the Denver metropolitan area. It even features a 1919 Colorado & Southern caboose inside the building, right next to the train layout! The layout is featured in Great Model Railroads 2023, and in a Trains.com Video layout visit!.

Address: 680 10th St., Greeley, CO 80631; 970-392-2934; cmrm.org

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday – 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

 

EnterTRAINment Junction

A large scale early-period steam locomotive hauls a long train under a bridge that another train is on.
A colorful Baldwin 2-6-0 Mogul, made by Bachmann, has a freight in tow as it heads upgrade through the lush early period scenery at EnterTRAINment Junction. EnterTRAINment Junction photo

Home to a 25,000-square-foot interactive display, this G scale layout features more than two miles of track with 90 trains traversing the layout each day. Throughout your journey, you’ll see in excess of 1,200 pieces of rolling stock along with cities and landscapes featuring many handmade buildings and an 11-foot-tall waterfall. It was even featured in the August 2011 issue of MR, and in a Trains.com Video layout visit!

When you’re finished watching trains in the impressive display, visit the attached hobby shop stocked with models from all scales.

This will also be your last summer to visit EnterTRAINment Junction as it was announced earlier in June that the attraction will close in January 2025. So visit while you still can!

Address: 7379 Squire Ct., West Chester Township, OH 45069; 877-898-4656; entertrainmentjunction.com

Hours: Monday through Saturday – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

 

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

A consist of Santa Fe Warbonnet scheme streamlined diesel locomotives hauls a freight train past an opposing black passenger train.
It’s nighttime at Bealville on the Tehachapi Pass Layout and First 808E, with Santa Fe Engine 37, is meeting Southern Pacific train 57, The Owl. Onward up the hill to the Loop! Eric White photo

With 27,000 square feet of model railroad, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum has no shortage of model train action. In the heart of San Diego’s Balboa Park, the museum is home to not only the famed Southern Pacific on the Tehachapi Pass layout, but also The Cabrillo & Southwestern, San Diego & Arizona Eastern, Pacific Desert Lines, The Toy Train Gallery, and Freight and Flora. These layouts cover a variety of scales and landscapes, with something for everyone. Keep your eyes peeled as the Tehachapi Pass layout will be featured in an upcoming issue of MR.

Address: 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101; 619-696-0199; sdmrm.org

Hours: Vary, see website

 

Northlandz

Cover of the September 1997 Model Railroader magazine featuring trains on a mountainside
Model Railroader visited Northlandz in the September 1997 issue, featuring the attraction on the cover.

Located between Philadelphia and Manhattan, Northlandz provides the northeast with an impressive train layout featuring more than 400 bridges and 200 tunnels throughout 52,000 square feet. Watch 100 trains travel throughout the eight miles of track.

Not only are there indoor model trains, but the museum even has an operating replica steam engine outside, giving train rides to families of all ages.

Address: 495 Route 202, Flemington NJ, 08822; 908-782-4022; northlandz.com

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Miniatur Wunderland

Large scale European-themed railyard at night with lights everywhere
Brichur Station on Miniatur Wunderland’s layout is ablaze with lights in this night shot. The Swiss section of the layout has about 25,000 light-emitting diodes for structure, street, and vehicle lights. Computers control lighting on the layout, taking it through a day-to-night cycle every 15 minutes. Frank Zarges photo

With 12 different themed areas throughout over 5,550 square feet of layout, Miniatur Wunderland is a bucket list layout for many modelers. More than 1,200 HO scale engines haul approximately 12,000 cars throughout 54,104 feet of signaled track. This includes a 47-foot-long train. In addition to trains, several boats move through real water, vehicles drive on the roads, and planes taxi and take off at the airport.

In addition to the current layout, many different sections are currently under construction to expand the layout. These areas include the Rainforest, the Andes and Atacama Desert, Central America & The Caribbean, and Asia — all to open by the end of 2028.

Address: Kehrwieder 2/Block D, 20457 Hamburg, Germany; +49 (0) 40 300 6800; miniature-wunderland.com

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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